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HCMWorks Insights

4 Ways to Survive a Skills Shortage in Your Industry

Posted by Julia Fournier on 10 Jul 2018

Skilled workers are the foundation of a company, but have you ever struggled to find the right employee? Don't worry if you have, you’re not alone. In fact, talent acquisition and a shortage in skilled workers is becoming a growing concern for many businesses.

According to ManpowerGroup’s latest Talent Shortage study for 2018, more employers than ever are struggling to fill open jobs. Forty-five per cent of the global business surveyed said that they can’t find the skilled workers they need, up from 40% in 2017 and the highest rate in over a decade. 

More worryingly, companies in the US are experiencing slightly above average difficulty when it comes to hiring skilled workers, with 46% of businesses in the US reporting that they struggle to find the right employees.

A passage from the report reads: “With a strengthening global economy, employers are more optimistic about hiring. Yet emerging technologies and changing skills needs are leaving employers with unfilled roles, threatening productivity, efficiency and future growth. These combined factors have pushed talent shortages to their highest level since 2006.”

Don’t think that just because you’re a large company that this won’t affect you. The study found that large companies (250+ employees) have twice as much difficulty filling roles as micro firms (less than 10 employees).

More than 67% of large companies reported difficulties hiring skilled workers, compared with 56% of medium-sized businesses (50-250 employees), 45% of small businesses and 32% of micro businesses.

All is not lost, however. Changing the way HR and procurement departments search for skilled workers, including making use of the contingent workforce, can significantly improve your access to your industry’s top talent.

Here are four ways your business can address a skilled workforce shortage:

1 - Rethink your current recruiting practices

If a skills shortage is becoming a serious concern for your business, it might be time to reevaluate how you find and recruit new staff members. This could mean a shift from hiring applicants with all the right skills, to hiring those that have the ability to grow into the role.

Alternatively, outsourcing the services of a managed services provider, such as HCMWorks, could give you the access to the top talent that you need. The implementation of an MSP program, could help you work around headcount restrictions, improve coverage during peak periods and obtain top talent quickly.

2 - Make use of the contingent workforce

One of the easiest ways to solve the difficulties of hiring during a skills shortage is to make use of the contingent workforce. This workforce is made up of contractors, consultants and freelance workers who can fill gaps in your business in a timely and cost-effective manner.

These highly-trained workers offer expertise, availability, flexibility and can provide you with specialized services for a set period of time or for specific projects. This workforce is huge, making up around 40% of the entire US workforce, and they work in virtually every industry - meaning there’s plenty of workers that meet your needs.

3 - Partner with educational facilities

The possibility of partnering with local or national educational facilities could open up a fresh supply of skilled workers, and although they are probably unlikely to have prior experience, they will be highly trained. Educational facilities can help with job placements for graduates, as well as offering your company access to potential apprentices, co-op students looking for work placements and interns. This could result in your ability to develop your very own next generation of skilled workers.

4 - Be more flexible

With hiring becoming increasingly competitive, workers have more power to decide which organizations to work for. Questions over salary, location, work environment and team culture are becoming increasingly important, and they all have an impact over which job a skilled worker accepts.

Perhaps your business could be more flexible? Think long and hard about the location of the job, does it needs to be where it is? Can you pay your contractors more because you’re saving money on full-time employees? Becoming more flexible in the way you work with and compensate your employees can improve your access to top talent.

A shortage in skilled workers may seem like a disaster, but there are solutions out there that will help your company find top talent. Simply changing the way you view and find employees can make a big difference in how your company moves forward.

Adapting to the changing job market and coming up with creative solutions to source talent could drive your business towards success.

Want to know how HCMWorks can help? Contact us today.

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Tags: Contingent Workforce